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U.S., Ecuadorian Navies Meet to Discuss, Plan 2008 Naval Engagements

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS071213-17
Release Date: 12/13/2007 4:23:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alan Gragg, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command Public Affairs

MAYPORT, Fla. (NNS) -- U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard leaders met with Armada de la Republica del Ecuador (Ecuadorian Navy) delegates for the Operational Naval Committee conference (ONC Ecuador) Dec. 11-12, to discuss and plan interactions between the two navies in 2008.

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command (NAVSO) in Mayport hosted ONC Ecuador this year. The annual conference is held to plan and agree to the various exercises and theater security cooperation (TSC) events the U.S. and Ecuadorian navies intend to conduct for the upcoming year. Delegates from both nations are able to meet face-to-face at the ONC conference to discuss mutual goals of maritime security in Latin America.

"We'll look to focus on our mutual interests during this conference," said NAVSO Director of Exercises and TSC Capt. Steven Blaisdell. "I'm looking forward to the interactions both personally and professionally."

The conference resulted in the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU), which outlines plans for U.S. and Ecuadorian interactions for 2008. Ecuadorian Navy Chief of Staff, Squadron Headquarters Capt. Oswaldo Zambrano and Blaisdell signed the MOU this year.

"The Ecuadorian Navy has been looking forward to reaching the aims of our purposes," said Zambrano. "We want to meet requirements for both countries."

ONC Ecuador helps support the U.S. Navy's new Maritime Strategy, which emphasizes cooperative relationships with international partners, by producing agreements and engagements between partner nations while promoting mutual understanding and respect.

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